The festive period and the top division of English football are inextricably linked in with each other, for better or worse.
Some would argue against, I humbly suggest those people have less human compassion about them than Ebenezer Scrooge himself. Here are seven (count ‘em 7) reasons, this is a tradition that ought not to be broken.
#1 For starters, in the turkey fueled maelstrom, the all too often relative visiting living hell that is Christmas; nothing provides solace quite like getting to watch a game of football. Whilst it is great to celebrate any occasion, there is no harm in some breathing space. Be it a couple of hours away in the pub or better still, at the game.
#2 With the advancement of years, it pays to keep one’s mind sharp. Finely honed. And so if you’re clever, you’ve planned it. You can’t “announce” in the closing days, the run in to the Christmas week that you’ve got tickets to a game. It doesn’t matter how good your excuse is, what you are heard to be saying is that you’ve taken evasive action, you’ve bailed.
If you’re clever you’ve plotted well in advance and by plotted, I mean even rehearsed your facial expressions. Just like when the other half produces a dress you’ve never seen before and you get hit with the line “oh that old thing, it’s been hanging up in the wardrobe for ages.” That’s #3, playing them at their own game.
You’ve checked and double checked your travel arrangements. You’ve made completely certain that you’ve secured the tickets available on Ticketbis, so you’re not wasting valuable time and money. This was all planned months ago. Like a military exercise. But one that you sort of forgot about. A bit. “I thought it might be in the New Year, or something, I lost track, love.”
Reason #5 in support of the games is actually an argument against a winter break. Should we be against modern football? Nick Davidson and Shaun Hunt’s book, “Modern Football Is Rubbish” mounts a convincing case. Let us not give the modern footballer more of a cushier existence than we need to.
We live in an era where footballers have never been so well paid. Even mediocre ones earn more in a week than most of us clear in a year. Enough! Get out there and play, you wimpy millionaire. It is our unalienable right as fans to demand a clogged up fixture list of football games, we’re the consumer. So just get on with it.
Nobody wants a return to the dark ages (think the 1960’s) where players were treated like cattle and run into the ground. But by the same token, showing some physical fortitude, opposed to clutching a limb every time you’re tackled, or wanting a round of applause for making a big run upfield is frankly pathetic.
The #6 reason is simply wanting to make sure that Christmas doesn’t lose it’s significance. The phrase, “we’ll know by Christmas” didn’t come out of nowhere. The volume of games gives an added zest to proceedings. Only the strong survive.
The January window rarely offers any stellar solutions to squads that are in any way light. This run of games tends to sort out the men from the boys.
So you were promised 7 reasons to protect this protocol. #7 is the most obvious of all.
Why on earth would you turn down the opportunity to watch more of the world’s greatest sport?
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Author Credit: Richard Lam
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34517490@N00/